University of Sussex
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Global norms-domestic practice: the role of community-based organisations in the diffusion of HIV and human rights norms

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posted on 2023-06-09, 00:15 authored by Enrique Restoy
International norms are central to international relations because they constitute key instruments to influence state behaviour (Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998; Risse and Sikkink, 1999; Acharya, 2004). The process by which international norms, principles and procedures diffuse into national systems is called norm diffusion (Krook and True, 2010; Towns, 2012; Brown, 2014). This thesis contributes to our understanding of the complexities of norm diffusion processes by undertaking the first in-depth analysis of the role that community-based organizations (CBOs) play in such processes. Focusing on the area of global health norms regarding HIV/AIDS, and based on extensive field research undertaken in Honduras, Ukraine, Uganda, and El Salvador, the thesis presents evidence of the CBOs analysed playing various essential roles in the diffusion of international norms domestically. First, they may act as implementers of such norms ensuring their appropriation among the populations they represent and generating local practice, on occasion even bypassing their own governments when these have rejected such norms. Second, CBOs may also be able to influence their governments and other relevant state actors at the later stages of norm diffusion, when states are deemed to implement international norms through their integration into national practice, even to the point of making states change their stated positions on certain international norms. Thirdly, through the simultaneous interaction with and entanglement in multiple norm diffusion processes, CBOs may also be able to alter such processes by tactically interlinking them and affecting their respective outcomes.


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University of Sussex

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